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Come to the Table: Revisioning the Lord's Supper [Paperback]

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Item Number 61501  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   205
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2008
ISBN  0971428972  
EAN  9780971428973  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The premise of this book is that Christian practice of the Lord's Supper as a silent, solemn, individualistic eating of bread and drinking of wine is radically dissimilar from the joyous communal meal in earliest Christianity. The contemporary practice of the supper needs to be revisioned; according to biblical values. Combining careful Bible study with gentle, practical suggestions, this book provides a valuable resource for enriching and renewing a central practice of Christian faith.

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More About John Mark Hicks

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! JOHN MARK HICKS serves as professor of theology in the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee. He has taught theology in seminaries for thirty- three years and has authored or co-authored ten books, including "Down in the River to Pray: Revisioning Baptism as God's Transforming Work." In his travels he has served faith communities in forty states and twenty countries. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife Jennifer.

John Mark Hicks currently resides in Nashville.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
For those who wish to grow...  Dec 6, 2006
Come to the Table is an outstanding treatment of what the scope of Scripture reveals concerning the original purposes of the Lord's Supper. The author sets the Communion meal in the context of other sacred meals that God shared with his people in earlier times and that Jesus shared during his ministry. He also examines the relevant texts from the epistles and puts them in their original context so that the reader is able to hear what the apostle was really getting at. The author interacts with both Scripture and current church practice, comparing and contrasting the two. He writes with great respect for both, yet also with the candor to suggest that current practice needs to be reshaped by Scripture. The book is scholarly and full of careful exploration of biblical passages, yet it is also readily accessible to the average person.

For those who realize that, in spite of our good intentions, time and custom often lead us gradually away from the original intent of church practices, Dr. Hicks does the reader a great service in recovering from Scripture the full richness of the Supper as Jesus intended it. That is, Communion was originally a reverent yet celebrative meal in which the participants interacted with each other and shared their joy in Christ's salvation. It was given to the church to deepen our sense of fellowship as we encourage and commune with each other as well as with the Lord who saved us, rather than a time for soberly withdrawing into private meditation. Dr. Hicks also gives a good deal of attention to the fact that the mood of the meal was originally one of expressed joy and deep gratitude in what Jesus accomplished more than a sorrowful and guilt-ridden recounting of the agony that we caused him.

Dr. Hicks concedes that many believers will resist the message of this book because they have grown to deeply value the private, deep introspection that they spend in silence with God during Communion. Having such moments is indeed crucial to spiritual life, and it can be relocated into other contexts. But he argues that Jesus' followers should recognize and desire the blessing that he intended for us to receive, and that the early church did receive, in the rich, Christ-centered conversation and interaction at his Table.
A timely plea for restored intent  Sep 3, 2004
Contrary to the views espoused by the previous reviewer, Come to the Table is a felicitous call to imbue our time of communing around the "Lord's Table" with all that it was intended.

Whilst I take issue with much of gallantknights review, in my assessment he correctly notes several things:

* It is indeed a scholarly presentation, but it is far from unreadable and quite engaging at times
* Much of Dr Hicks' points are indeed based on Old Testament precedent, and rightly so. Hicks' ably brings to bear the covenental symbolism Jesus purposefully gives the Lord's Supper. From its relationship to the passover in particular, to the relationship between altar sacrifice and the ensuing table fellowship this book offers much insight into the desire of God for communion with and among His people.
* Hicks' historical survey of meals in both the Old and the New Testaments is a highlight of the book and provides the structure for most of it. His exegesis of pertinent passages is accurate, as noted, but the discerning reader will struggle to find examples of ignoring context, inspite of gallantknight's warnings. I find it strange that he would list Hicks' treatment of Acts 2:46 as an example of denying context, when the author's exposition of this verse was based solely on the immediate context. Those who would deny a reference to the Lord's Supper in that particular verse must wrest it from the text to disallow the clear flow of thought and terminology found in verse 42.

In this book Hicks' unapologetically presents an image of the Lord's supper that stands in stark dissonance to the practice of most contemporary traditions. This in several ways is a brave move for someone with a heritage in the Restoration Movement, as it invites(?!) criticism like that from gallantknights. Motives impugned and monikers like "change-agent" cast... (What on earth is "change-agent language"???? It must have been too subtle for me to pick up!)

The strength of this book lies not so much in uniqueness, (more and more scholars acknowledge the early practice of a fellowship-meal Lord's Supper) but in its call for a thorough rethink of firstly the theological foundation of the LS, it's purpose, and how that is reflected in our modern practice, if it is at all.

Come to the Table is not without its weaknesses. Dr Hicks, I think, was quite aware of most of them when he penned the preface and detailed its purpose. Some more groundwork for the practice of the early church could have been detailed, but where that was light Hick's leaves a healthy bibliography for further study!
"Revision" is Right, but it's not the Right Thing  Jul 11, 2004
Dr. Hicks makes a very scholary presentation of his views on the Lord's Supper in the church of Christ. However, many of his points are based on Old Testament prescedent and scriptures taken out of context. His use of the word "revision" couldn't be more apt, as he is advocating a revision not only of tradition, but also a revision of the historical interpretation of the of Biblical example of the Lord's Supper and the meaning behind it.

His overall survey of information has many factual statements, making it more difficult to discern the "change agent" language and suggestions scattered throughout. Hicks makes very liberal use of the words "experience" and "community", leading one to wonder just how much he is advocating a change in the church that would lead to resembling the more charismatic evangelical denominations, which would go against what Christ taught in the New Testament.

Hicks draws people in with a historical survey of the meals of the Jews in Old Testament times, which is impressively researched and presented fairly accurately. His interpretation of many of the scriptures is just as accurate. However, he uses certain scriptures out of context (like Acts 2:46) to support a flawed premise about the meaning of the Supper itself.

Those who read this need to do so with Bibles open, and should be ready to test everything he says against the Truth of scripture.


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